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Author Topic: Illinois Ice Racing 1960's  (Read 768 times)
wilderness
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« on: January 23, 2011, 08:45:38 AM »

Does anybody recall any ice racing in Illinois in either the late-50 or early-60's?

 What lake or pond was the location?

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Regards Don
looking in
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 08:57:22 AM »

Don't know about this print, but I think they use to have harness horse racing on the ice on Lake Geneva in Wisc, just north of the IL./WI, border.
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I am just an old "Hoss" trainer, that has been raced hard and put away wet. 
As my Friend from Maine(Ora Stratton) says "There are horse trainers, and then there are real "Hoss" trainers.
wilderness
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 09:03:41 AM »

Don't know about this print, but I think they use to have harness horse racing on the ice on Lake Geneva in Wisc, just north of the IL./WI, border.

 Out behind the Playboy Club ;-)

 I was only in Lake Geneva once (around 1982) and it was Summer. Don't recall much.
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bowserkat
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 09:16:26 AM »

Playboy club wasn't actually on  Lake Geneva, if I remember correctly.  head shake  Could be Lake Geneva, but can't be 100% sure.   I know I drove my car on a frozen Lake Geneva many times.
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wilderness
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 09:19:43 AM »

bowser,
           Don't recall the direction, however think it was north?
Heading out of town Lake Geneva was on the left and the Playboy was further down the road (and way back) on the right.

 My recollection is really vague.
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Claiming King
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 09:22:59 AM »

There's a pond called Sulky Pond at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington. I'm pretty sure they raced on the ice there.
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wilderness
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 09:39:20 AM »

Thanks king.
                 There's hordes of photo's of Sulky Pond at Barrington

 I'm sure Sulky Pond looked quite different fifty years ago, than it does today.
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beautyistruth
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 10:30:37 AM »



     Yea it was called Balmoral Park during the 2009 and 2010 meets with Orange cones at the half doh
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wilderness
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 10:42:04 AM »

I've been reminded that there was ice racing on Slocum Lake.

 Do have a 1953 AP photo of same.
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 11:44:51 AM »

Wilderness,

I believe that years ago they also had ice harness racing on Lake George in NY.  Here is a great article discussing it:

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2010/12/northern-ice-harness-racing.html
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wilderness
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 12:11:53 PM »

Wilderness,

I believe that years ago they also had ice harness racing on Lake George in NY.  Here is a great article discussing it:

 OTB,
        There was much ice racing in NY.
Many of the small towns in norther-NY and along the St. Lawrence Seaway offered un-sanctioned ice racing (nearly all the ice-racing was unsanctioned and not recorded because the races were only for a quarter-mile).

 One of the early issues of Hoof Beats or Harness Horse had a photo of Lake George on the cover and a picture of the ice racing.

 Vic Fleming and his three sons (Charlie, Will and Jimmy) used to participate every year in a winter festival in upstate NY. There's even a photo of the four of them attending and in winter clothes.
--------------

 The following from the March 17, 1932 Trotter and Pacer mag and "Twenty Years Ago" (1912) column:
Winners over the ice at Lake George. N. Y., were The Merchant (Wicker), Robert R. (Russell), Sir Archer (Lucia) and Mary Singer (Russell).
----------------------

The following from the March 6, 1940 Harness Horse:
Lake George Ice Races (see also Princess Vonian beats The Widower)
Lake George, N. Y., February 25-Five spirited events were decided today, George Washington trimming the freefor-all class handily with Princess Vonian 2:04 not starting due to her match race with The Widower 1:591/2, scheduled for March 3d. Senator Brooke 2:141/4 by The Senator 2:031/2 trimmed the Class A field with three smart halves. Duncan Forbes 2:15 by Johnnie Duncan laced the Class B field. There was a large crowd in attendance as the racing was exceptionally good.
-----------------

from Feb 28, 1940 Harness Horse:
Lake George, New York Ice Races
Lake George, February 18-A big program of dash races was contested today, there being several features not on the regular program, including an exhibition by Princess Vonian p, 2:04, Queen of the winter ice meets. W. Ellis Gilmour of Saratoga, N. Y., owner of Princess Vonian drove her along with the Class A horses, though she did not compete in the class. She finished first in 1:041/2-1:04-1:051/2 handily. There is also a rumor, that there will be a match pacing race in the near future between Princess Vonian 2:04 and a member of the Vic Fleming stable from Syracuse.
There was a match pacing race today between George Washington 2:06 by Guy Abbey and Napoleon Patchen 2:061/2 by Napoleon Direct, Sheriff Ed Baker driving George Washington and Gerald Roider handling Napoleon Patchen. The first dash was a rip-roaring struggle, the two horses going a dead heat. But the next two heats and race were won by George Washington.
-------------------

 There was a winter festival on a channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway (Canadian side) that held ice racing each year and into the early 1980's. There's an article (used to be active on my former websites) were John Campbell spoke of racing there.
 Many of the top names in the sport attended and participated.
 What ended this winter festival was the requirement of liability insurance and the prohibitive costs to the small towns.

 Many other states had ice racing into the 1950's and '60's.

 These days, most states don't have any in attendance for the pari-mutuel overnights.
 Forget about getting fans to come out for the fairs and the possibility of any ice racing.
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wilderness
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 12:30:48 PM »

OTB,
        There's some late-1800's or early 1900's photo's of horses and sleighs in the Chicago suburbs that are Part of the American Memory Project of Digitial archives.
 Specifically Garfield Park.
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